DBEI Blogs


Model Making | Problem Solving

Still in the studio. When students are not brick laying this summer, they are busy in the Art + Architecture building making models and figuring out solutions to the toughest problems. These are the problems that have escaped the previous two semesters of student work and CD drawings. The best approach to such a set […]

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Ground Breaking | Here We Go

  A truly exciting day for the Beardsley Farm and the community it supports. After a long journey that began more than five years ago, the project to give the farm a substantial structure is finally underway. The local community is invested in the success of Beardsley Farm as much as the students are invested […]

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Summer Semester | Day 01

With the new semester comes a new crop of students ready to learn the art of brick laying and join in the process of a design build project. With only a few students with masonry experience in the yard at Lincoln Park, the work produced on the first day of brick laying was definitely something […]

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Brick Meets Beardsley | From CDs to Site

After time well spent on heightening our skills as novice masons, we have finally made it to the big leagues, the site itself. Over the next week we will build a mock up wall on site with the guidance of J.C. and our set of construction documents.  Each brick must be properly placed with mortar […]

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Penultimate Review

On Wednesday, April 1st we had our penultimate review.  Bill Martella, James Rose, and Matt Culver were our reviewers and gave us a great critique and great advice that we have already started to implement into our design. This review covered the previous semester’s work with green oak, the site and context, program, research, living […]

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Exterior Mockup

  We have one more building mockup completed!  This time we’re looking at how the green oak cants can be used as siding on a building.  With this 1:1 scale mockup, we’re investigating the weathering capabilities of 5/8” thick boards and the fasteners that are used to attach them.  This mockup will use stainless steel […]

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Off To The Hardwood Mill!

I recently took a trip to pick up a batch of freshly cut oak cants for our next building mock-up.  Because cants aren’t available in a typical home improvement store, I had to go right to the source: the sawmill.  I took our big UT  Motor pool truck down to Seymour, TN and paid the East Tennessee Wood Products Company, […]

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Green Oak Seminar Class

In order too supplement the research taking place in the Green Oak Studio and fully explore the possibilities of this project a separate team of students meet twice a week to help investigate the Green Oak Project. This team broke itself down into four sub groups in order to concentrate mental capabilities and production. The […]

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Preliminary Design

After visiting the site we have started to design. Between the twelve of us we have a few hundred sketches. Everyone is exploring the site, intended uses, climate, culture, materials, sustainable strategies, codes, ADA requirements, and even more to produce diagrams and concepts. Collaborating our ideas and goals together to produce a single design concept […]

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Site Visit | Beardsley Community Farm

This afternoon, we were finally able to see the Beardsley Farm site in person.  Khann Chov, farm manager, showed us around the vegetable gardens, greenhouse, bee hives and chicken coop.  From humble beginnings, Beardsley Farm has grown into an organization that donates tens of thousands of pounds of food each year.  Not only through donations, […]

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Brick Boot Camp | Day One

Our first experience with mortar and CMU started this morning.  J.C. Newman, brick laying guru, had us mix the mortar by hand in shifts.  Adding sand, water and mortar cement to a wheelbarrow in precise ratios.  This is an exercise we are due to repeat for the next few visits to Lincoln Park, our practice […]

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From Clay to Kiln | The Origins of Brick

Today, we ventured to Spring City, TN to find out where our bricks are coming from and how the process works. The amount of support that we are receiving from General Shale is astounding and we all walked away from the tour with an even greater appreciation for all the brickwork we are drafting in […]

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